If countless Google searches are any indication, figuring out how to plan an epic summer vacation without breaking the bank remains a mystery. That’s why we’re here to offer our expert advice (and save you the headache) with 4 tips on how to make the most of your travel budget this summer.
1. Save $$$ on holiday travel.
Generally speaking, the idea that there’s a “magic day” to book travel is a myth. Except, that is, when it comes to booking your summer holiday travel. Our data shows that the very best time to score a summer holiday deal is to fly in or out on the same day as the holiday. Yeah, no thanks. However, by digging a little deeper we discovered your next best bet is flying into your destination the Sunday before the holiday and flying back home the day after the holiday to save money.
2. Taking things global? Go later in the summer.
If you’re looking to add stamps to your passport this season, wait until summer’s end. Travel in August (or better yet, September) starts to see prices drop to international destinations. Unexpected bonus: it’s also when crowds tend to start easing up. Our data also found that it’s more expensive to travel internationally during the week, so shoot for weekend flights.
3. Staying local(ish)? Avoid Sundays.
If you’re traveling in the US this summer, don’t expect much fluctuation in airfare. It stays pretty steady throughout the season. Your best bet is to book flights that take off during the week. On weekends, and especially on Sundays, our data shows that prices can shoot up.
4. Just don’t on these dates.
We generally hate to hardline, but we found that the most expensive departure date is June 25 for domestic travel and June 30 for international travel. If you can avoid those days, then do so.
Holiday weekend bonus tip.
For the two major holiday weekends of the summer — July 4th and Labor Day — we have insights on how to stagger your trip.
If you’re traveling for Independence Day, flying into your destination on Sunday, July 2 and flying out on Wednesday, July 5 is your best bet to save money. Median airfare for domestic travel on these dates is around $200. The most expensive combo is departing Friday, June 30 and coming home on Friday, July 7, with median airfare doubling to $400.
For Labor Day, same tips apply. Get your end-of-summer fun for less by leaving Sunday, September 3 and returning Tuesday, September 5. The most expensive day to travel? Thursday, August 31. So pass on that.
Whatever kind of travel fun this summer brings, know your options before you book. Start your search on KAYAK.
For July 4th and Labor Day data: We looked at search dates in the US January 1, 2017 to April 27, 2017 and travel dates around each holiday weekend. So for July Fourth we looked at travel dates of June 29 to July 9 and for Labor Day we looked at travel dates of July 31 to September 10. For the general Summer Tips: We looked at round-trip fares on KAYAK on March 23, 2017 with departure dates June 1 – August 31, 2017.